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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Consumer Protection

New Arizona PIRG Education Fund Report Identifies Banks Consumers Complain About Most

Thousands of Americans are using the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s public Consumer Complaints Database to settle disputes with their banks, according to a new report from the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. The report highlights banks that generated the most complaints through their various banking services in each state.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Moving Off the Road

After sixty years of almost constant increases in the annual number of miles Americans drive, since 2004 Americans have decreased their driving per-capita for eight years in a row. This report for the first time presents government data on state-by-state driving trends. It analyzes which states drive more miles per-person, which states have reduced their driving the most since the end of the national Driving Boom, and how state changes in driving behavior correspond to other changes such as growing unemployment or urbanization.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Higher Ed

Student Loan Interest Rate Deal Will Make Things Worse

Senate lawmakers last night agreed to a deal on student loan reform that could be voted on as early as Tuesday of next week. The new proposal makes long-term changes to the student loan system, which address Congress’ budget crisis by charging student loan borrowers more. This deal prompted Arizona PIRG to call on Arizona Senators McCain and Flake to vote against the bill.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Apples to Twinkies 2013

At a time when America faces high obesity rates and tough federal budget choices, taxpayer dollars are funding the  production of junk food ingredients. Since 1995, the government has spent $292.5 billion on agricultural subsidies, $19.2 billion of which have subsidized corn- and soy-derived junk food ingredients.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Ag Subsidies Pay for 20 Twinkies per Taxpayer, But Only Half of an Apple Apiece

Federal subsidies for commodity crops are subsidizing junk food additives like high-fructose corn syrup, at a rate that would buy 20 Twinkies for each taxpayer every year, according to a new report from Arizona PIRG, “Apples to Twinkies 2013.” Meanwhile, limited subsidies for fresh fruits and vegetables would buy one half of an apple per taxpayer.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

New Report: Reduction in Driving Likely to Continue

As the average number of miles driven by Americans heads into its eighth year of decline, a new report from the Arizona PIRG Education Fund finds that the slowdown in driving is likely to continue. The report, A New Direction: Our Changing Relationship with Driving and the Implications for America’s Future, noted that demographic changes will likely keep driving down for decades.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Offshore Tax Havens Cost Average Arizona Taxpayer $803 This Year

As Tax Day approaches, a new study from Arizona PIRG revealed that the average Arizona taxpayer in 2012 would have to shoulder an extra $803 in taxes to make up for the revenue lost due to the use of offshore tax havens by corporations and wealthy individuals.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Arizona Receives a ‘B’ in Annual Report on Government Spending Transparency

Arizona received a ‘B’ when it comes to government spending transparency, according to the fourth annual report by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, Following the Money 2013: How the States Rank on Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data. Arizona’s official state transparency website, OpenBooks, received an ‘A-’ in last year’s report.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Safe Energy

Clean energy advocates provide action plan

Clean energy advocates and leaders from across the West are urging policymakers to enact policies and support investments in renewable energy and efficiency that would modernize our electric system while slashing greenhouse gas emissions. With President Obama calling for action to address climate disruption in his State of the Union address, and thousands of others marching on Washington this past weekend, a series of white papers and a video are being released to help illustrate how adopting a Clean Energy Vision rather than business as usual will move the West forward.

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News Release | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Tax

Offshore Tax Dodging Blows a $503M Hole in Arizona’s Budget

As Arizona lawmakers are soon to begin discussing the state budget for the next fiscal year, the Arizona PIRG Education Fund released a new study, The Hidden Cost of Offshore Tax Havens: State Budgets under Pressure from Tax Loophole Abuse, revealing that the State of Arizona lost $503 million due to offshore tax dodging in 2012.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Budget

Shining a Light on the Arizona Commerce Authority

Arizonans deserve to know how their taxpayer dollars are spent – including when their tax dollars are given as subsidies to corporations. However, more than a year after the creation of the Arizona Commerce Authority – the new state entity responsible for distributing the state’s economic development subsidies – the Commerce Authority discloses information online for only a portion of its economic development funds.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Connecting Phoenix and Tucson

Over the past few decades, explosive population growth in Phoenix and Tucson has led the two cities to grow increasingly interconnected, socially and economically. It has also resulted in increasing traffic congestion problems, particularly on Interstate 10, which connects the two cities. With this growth expected to continue in years to come, Arizonans face a pressing need for improved transportation options. Passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson can help meet the future transportation needs of the Sun Corridor.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Health Care

Getting All the Cards on the Table

States do have options to increase transparency so consumers have better information and are better protected against unreasonable rate increases. One important opportunity is through a process called rate review, which can potentially empower consumers by requiring insurers to make information on why rates are increasing publically available.

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Report | Arizona PIRG | Tax

Picking up the Tab

Some U.S.-based multinational firms or individuals avoid paying U.S. taxes by transferring their earnings to tax haven countries with minimal or no taxes. These tax haven users benefit from their access to America’s markets, workforce, infrastructure and security; but they pay little or nothing for it—violating the basic fairness of the tax system and forcing other taxpayers to pick up the tab.

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Report | Arizona PIRG Education Fund | Transportation

Transportation & the New Generation

From World War II until just a few years ago, the number of miles driven annually on America’s roads steadily increased. Then, at the turn of the century, something changed: Americans began driving less. By 2011, the average American was driving 6 percent fewer miles per year than in 2004. The trend away from driving has been led by young people.

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